Ramadan returns to Highline

By Nayyab Rai - Staff Reporter

The Holy Month of Ramadan has started and Muslims from all over the world have prepared themselves for the month of fast.

"Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان‎‎) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad," said Professor Oussama Alkhalili.

During this time, Muslims fast from the first prayer (sunup) to the fourth prayer (sundown) every day for one month.

They start the fast with Sehri (breakfast) and end it with Iftar (the break of the fast, dinner).

Swam (fasting) is one of the five pillars of Islam that all Muslims need to follow.

"Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding," Alkhalili said.

In Islam, when a child turns 12 years old, they are obligated to fast the entirety of the month.

Ramadan is the time for Muslims to come together as a community and pray.

Around campus, Muslims staff and students have been diligently preparing themselves for the month of fast.

"We live our lives as usual but we do make sure to come together at the end of the day and break our fasts together," Highline student Khadijah Diop said.

Ramadan is not just a time to pray and fast, it is also a time for families and communities to come together and celebrate the fast.

Muslims might feel a little tired by the end of the day and lose a little weight, but fasting helps to sharpen the mind and cleanse the body.

Ramadan is a time of worship and family.

When it's time to eat, Muslims typically go light.

"We break our fast with very simple and light foods, dates and water. Sometimes, even a little fruit," Diop said.

It is hard on the stomach to eat heavier after fasting.

"Fasting serves as a great way of cleaning yourself spiritually and physically and keeps your focused throughout the day. Ramadan is a spiritual boot camp; where I leave with better health, character, state of mind, and a closer relationship with God," Diop said.

A part-time employee at Highline who asked to remain anonymous, said "During Ramadan, I like to put up Christmas lights in the corners of my house to give a little festive feel."

"Our family would gather together and bring food for everyone to eat at the end of the day," she said. "We eat rice, chicken, and drink Tamr Hind, a yogurt drink."

Highline's Arabic Club will host an Iftar event on June 1 in Building 2, from 7-11 p.m.

During the event, people will learn about Ramadan and Islamic traditions regarding Ramadan. There will be a presentation and a video about what people in general know about the month.

People can bring food to serve and show others their way of breaking the fast.

Because the start of Ramadan is dependent upon the moon-sighting methodology, chances are that Ramadan might begin on May 15 and end on June 14.

The traditional greeting for Muslims celebrating Ramadan is Ramadan Mubarak.

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